On Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Sometimes one needs to take a break from reading some ‘thematic’, emotional and ‘deep’ novels, and tackle an entertainment one to just enjoy the stories. Stephen King doesn’t disappoint, and since it was short stories, it was much easier to read and not get lost in the story.

The book cover

The book cover

Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King. I have the exact same cover

In spite of the tagline “stories from the darkest of places”, some of the stories were not dark at all, and I particularly enjoyed The House on Maple Street which has a happy ending; Dolan’s Cadillac is about revenge (ain’t it a sweet thing!) and Head Down, which is an inspiring non-fiction story of a little league team.

The rest, of course, were positively chilling, like Suffer the Little Children makes a horrific read since children in horror movies are the scariest! The Night Flier might sound like fiction, but at the back of your mind everyone knows (or hopes) that vampires exist. Except this is the dangerous, blood sucking, romantic-less kind of vampire. Chattery Teeth was delightful to read, although one cannot help but wonder how it will eventually end. The things that help you in a tricky situation always want payback, usually in the form of er.. blood! e.t.c.

I read these stories in traffic, over the weekend, and any other free time I had. The stories stick in your mind, and even now I can recall the distinct fear and tension I felt when imagining the characters in dark stories such as Rainy Season (I felt particularly sick and will never look at another frog the same way) and Crouch End.You Know They Got a Hell of a Band is also the kind of ‘trapped’ story that I guess is common with my favorite stories from this book!

I definitely have to agree with the reviewer (of the book) who said, “Stephen King’s imagination is unparalleled.”

Pick a copy of this book from your nearest (street) book vendor and dig into a story every bedtime. It might give you nightmares, but you will enjoy every bit of it (the reading not the nightmare).

P.S. I bought it from Tuskys Imara for 300 Kenyan shillings.

Deadline for Switching to Digital TV set to December 13th in Nairobi

If you live in Nairobi, you should be aware that the Digital Kenya Secretariat under CCK has kick-started the Digital TV Migration campaign. The deadline for switching off the analog TV signals is 13th December in Nairobi and its environs. The rest of the country shall follow and by 30th June 2014 the whole of Kenya will be only be viewing digital TV.

digitalTV2 Deadline for Switching to Digital TV set to December 13th in NairobiWelcome to Digital TV

Whether you are ready or not, whether you understand what digital TV is or not, the migration from analog TV to digital will eventually happen. The global deadline is in 2015 but Kenya will switch off the signals a year earlier (by June 2014). I suspect that, because of the notorious Kenyan timing, CCK is trying to ensure that we will actually beat the deadline otherwise we will be lamenting come 2015.

Here is a post that I did in 2011, trying to demystify digital TV.

How to Convert Your TV to Digital

So how do you make your current TV receive digital signals? You need a digital decoder (set top box) that will convert the digital signals into analog so you can watch your TV. The average cost of the decoder is Ksh 5,000.

For a list of approved set top boxes, check out the list on the Digital Migration website.

There are two types of decoders: (1) free-to-air decoders that you buy once and watch only free-to-air channels. There is no monthly payment fee.

(2) pay-TV set boxes such as GoTV and Star Times. These have attract monthly subscription fees depending on the number of channels you are subscribing to.

If you already have satellite or cable TV such as Supersport or Zuku, then you are already a digital TV consumer. These attract higher initial installation charges and monthly subscriptions.

So exactly what are the benefits of digital TV? Well, we that is a topic we shall review next week.

Watch this space for more on Digital TV.

Bella, my First Car

Meet Bella, my new Toyota Passo. Finally, I can mark this as an achieved goal of the year 2013!

IMG 20131016 WA0003 Bella, my First Car

Bella, my first car

I have the habit of naming my gadgets. From my phone, to laptop (guess these are my only toys for now).

Bella is just appropriate for this car, she’s small and pretty. Together, we’ll go places

The intention to buy a car and the actual action can be years apart. But when finally everything came together, it was just the right moment for me to get one, especially since I now have a baby so it’s a more convenient way to travel with him. With public transport, it is just too hectic; the baby requires lots of luggage even if it’s for a short journey: his basic bag with diapers, change of clothes, wipes, shawl etc, his food bag with the thermos of milk, water, food (now that he’s eating), his car seat (ha ha which matatu will allow you with that on board?), his walker (if you have one), his carrier and many other necessary and unnecessary things.

Did I mention he’s already 6 months? Yep, time flies.

us

Mutua Matheka’s Photography Can Now Hang in Your Home

I’ve always loved Mutua Matheka’s Cityscapes. He especially loves Nairobi’s skyline. The We-Are-One photos of Nairobi’s skyline were his.

A moment of Silence by Mutua Matheka all2 300x150 Mutua Mathekas Photography Can Now Hang in Your Home

Click on the picture for a larger image size

Marketplace

Mutua finally launched a marketplace where you can order prints of different sizes, from A5, A3, A2 .. even on canvas. Check out the breathtakingly beautiful pictures to frame and hang on your living/bedroom wall.

My favorite is “City beside the Sun”, pasted below. I love the idea of “The Two Towers“, fans of LOTR can relate  .

Optimus Prime” is so aptly named, I’m pretty sure that’s what Optimus would see with through his wide angle lenses (eyes). All the cityscapes are amazing, the list includes “Gorgeous”, “City of Gold”, “Milky Waters”, “Silky Waters”, “Dead Life” (see the oxymoron?) etc…

mutua matheka 16 extralarge 1024x480 Mutua Mathekas Photography Can Now Hang in Your Home

City beside the Sun. Nairobi, my beloved.

Oh what are you waiting for? Just check them out already, and order your printed version. Or check them out just to admire them, no need for me to labour in trying to describe them when pictures speak for themselves.

Oh, another one I’d love to have is “On The Flip Side“.

The Samsung Note 3 To be Launched in Kenya Soon

Samsung has been at it again; every year we expect a better, more powerful version of their top of the range Galaxy devices. The Note 3 will soon be launched in Kenya, after the Note II was launched sometime last year. The Note III is now the world’s most powerful smartphone.

The Note Series are huge devices; phablets. So they are really niche products for people with a love for big, showy devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3..

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3..

If you enjoyed the Note II like I did, you might wonder what’s new with the Note III. Here is why you may want to upgrade:

  • a full HD, 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display, which is the same as the Galaxy S4 (although the S4 has a smaller screen so pixel density is better on the S4). The Note II does not have a HD screen.
  • The size of the display is also larger, the Note II has 5.5inch wide screen, the Note III screen is 5.7 inches in width
  • A metal frame around the edges, making the design sleeker (just like the S4)
  • The back cover finishing, although plastic, appears leather. The finish is textured to give it the appearance of leather and this actually provides some much needed grip. This is important when you are lying in bed and scrolling and this massive device rolls off your hands into your face, breaking your nose 😀
  • More powerful, 13MP camera. The Note II camera has 8MP
  • It’s a few grams lighter than the Note II. 183gm-168gm=? Do the math guys!
  • Latest version of Android: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Ice Cream Sandwich in Note II is like.. so last year *rolls eyes* Although it can be upgraded to 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2.3GHz quad-core processor, although a select few markets will be treated to an octa-core option which houses two quad-core chips. The Note II has a mere 1.6GHz quad-core processor. Never mind you won’t ever make full use of that power
  • 32/64GB internal memory as opposed to the 16GB of Note II.
  • Note III- 3GB RAM; Note II- 2GB RAM
  • Etc etc

So of course if you want to have the latest, most powerful smartphone in the world, grab yourself a Note III. Not sure the exact cost it will sell for, but have $1,000 ready.

The She.Business Awards by The Purple Network

I received an email about the She.Business Awards by The Purple Network, and my first question was, who is the Purple Network?

The Purple Network designs and implements economic empowerment projects for women and youth in enterprise. We achieve this by partnering with local and international donor agencies, the private sector and government agencies in East Africa.The Purple Network was registered in 2012 and believes that enterprise development is crucial to job and wealth creation in Africa.

The Purple Network was co-founded by two women: Nyambia Gatahi – Beatriceand Joan Nasimiyu Orina.

The Purple Network recently launched the She.Business Awards to recognize enterprising women who are doing business in Kenya. This is the only word focused on women entrepreneurs running their business in various categories, among them ICT and Agriculture.

The competition is open to women who have been running their businesses for a minimum of one year and have at least three employees. The most enterprising women will benefit from publicity, access to market linkages through the conference and will be supported to grow their businesses for a period of one year. The award will be rolled out in three phases; nomination, selection process and grand finale, which will include the women in enterprise conference and an award ceremony.

The nomination process is now open so you are free to nominate women who are running their businesses successfully, women with inspiring stories that can encourage other women to realize that success in business is achievable.

Image from tech.co

Image from tech.co

 

The She.Business Awards are supported by Nailab, Gennessis Consult, Consumer Pro, Open, World, Fine Print and Business Mind Magazine.

For more information, contact Joan on awards@purplenetwork.co.ke , call +254 705 702080 or tweet @SheBizAward

Changes

No matter how much every day seems like the last one, one day you will wake up and realize that things have changed. The way you blog, what you blog about, when and how often you write.. all these things change. When I started our writing, it was easy enough. I was doing it for fun, for my own pleasure. I had a small audience of fellow bloggers and we shared the stories of our lives with each other. Gradually, the audience grew to non-bloggers, to friends on social media.. and eventually it’s grown to strangers whom I’ve never interacted with.

A friend who no longer blogs told me he stopped writing (about his life) because he realized the world was looking in. You become some sort of pseudo celeb sharing your life with hundreds, perhaps thousands of strangers. Not everyone is comfortable baring their all to the world (especially if you are not trying to be a -Kenyan- socialite). My blog has evolved from personal to opinion to technology-related posts and although I am reluctant to let go of the personal posts, I don’t want to share my life with virtual strangers. While we are on the subject of strangers, cease sending me linkedIn requests if we’ve never studied together or worked together or interacted at all in any way! It doesn’t make sense..

Looking in..

Looking in..

A few years ago, I was tweeting my every thought, every action, every amusing thing I came across. Now I can let go of a witty thought, just smile to myself. I must have been averaging over 100 tweets a day, but now I do 2 on a good day. I pause to think before I tweet. I have become conservative, boring even, I can feel old age creeping in (just kidding about the old age part, I’m only 25!)

The posts on my blog have now become a bizarre mixture of mobile phone reviews, motherhood and babies, football related posts, tech, music or poetry events, random business announcements.. even I am confused. But I know gradually I will find a constant, a balance between the different topics, and a balance between my personal voice and (professional) opinion. It might entail writing here and there about this and that, but all this is working towards that balance and I won’t fight it. So in short, expect some changes, but they will be gradual.

You cannot escape change

You cannot escape change

[Changes ~ 3 Doors Down]

Wamathai Spoken Word is Back

Wamathai Spoken Word is back on the 12th October after a short hiatus. The venue has shifted to the more spacious Louis Leakey Auditorium at the National Museum.

The event will be hosted by Sadia Ahmed. It will feature performances by Elani, Adelle Onyango, El Poet, Eudiah Kamonjo, Mwende Ngao and Raya Wambui. There will also be an art exhibition by Nduta Kariuki (my high school friend!!) and Ian Weswa.

There will also be a DJ Set by David Mugo of Niaje.

Details

Hosted by: Sadia Ahmed
Poetry Performances by: Adelle Onyango, El Poet, Eudiah Kamonjo, Mwende Ngao and Raya Wambui.
Music by: Elani
Art exhibition by: Nduta Kariuki and Ian Weswa

Tickets

Charges: Kshs. 400 in advance & Kshs. 500 at the gate.
[Buy advance tickets by sending cash via MPESA to 0704 090471 [a confirmation message will be sent to you with a ticket number once payment is received]

Time: 3pm – 7pm
Venue: Louis Leakey Auditorium, The National Musuem. Ample and Secure Parking Available.

Contact info: hello@wamathai.com , 0704 090471

Panasonic Keen to Gain Traction in the Local Market

A few months ago, Panasonic launched a showroom and service center along Mpaka Road in Westlands, and now they are looking into bringing new products into the market in order to increase their consumer penetration in East Africa.

Among the products their interesting products are the Panasonic Toughbook and the Panasonic Toughpad. These are devices meant for tough conditions. They are spill proof, water and dust resistant, and have the ability to operate in temperatures from -10 °C to 50 °C. Guess they’ll be suitable for our engineers who will be exploring for oil and water in North East Kenya.

The Toughbook

The CF-53 has a 14-inch display, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, outputs for HDMI and VGA, a LAN connection, a Serial Port, and a optional card reader (SDXC).

A case lock slot lets you physically secure the laptop, and a tray loading optical drive lets you read and burn DVD-RW discs and CDs. On the right, behind a locking cover, is an empty Express Card slot, while on the left, secured with screws, is a cover for an optional Smart Card slot.

Now you don’t have to worry about carrying your delicate laptop to the field.

The Toughpad

Spill proof, water and dust resistant, this is the tablet of choice for fieldwork. If it had an everlasting battery it would be perfect but it lasts about 8 hours on 3G network. There are Toughpad versions in Android and Windows 8.

Though I’m no engineer, would love to play around with the Toughpad and I guess my baby could do with a Toughpad; his sense of destruction is developing 😉